Part 5: Alma 9 – Alma 25
The introduction to this series on internal consistency in the Book of Mormon is found in part 1 here.
This part covers Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah and a flashback to the mission of the sons of Mosiah. As usual there are many examples within these chapters of subtle details that are referenced elsewhere and therefore demonstrate the careful detail that went into producing the text.
29. Alma 9:18, 10:22-23 and Alma 16:2-3 — the destruction of Ammonihah
Alma prophecies of the destruction of Ammonihah while preaching there, first in Alma 9:18
But behold, I say unto you that if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you; and if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction; and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord.
then again in 10:23, adding a condition
But it is by the prayers of the righteous that ye are spared; now therefore, if ye will cast out the righteous from among you then will not the Lord stay his hand;
In Alma 14:7, they “cast out the righteous”…
And they spit upon him, and cast him out from among them, and also all those who believed in the words which had been spoken by Alma and Amulek; and they cast them out, and sent men to cast stones at them.
…and in Alma 16:2-3, the prophecy is fulfilled.
2 For behold, the armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side, into the borders of the land, even into the city of Ammonihah, and began to slay the people and destroy the city.
3 And now it came to pass, before the Nephites could raise a sufficient army to drive them out of the land, they had destroyed the people who were in the city of Ammonihah,
Another consistent detail is given a few verses later, in Alma 16:9
9 …the people of Ammonihah were destroyed; yea, every living soul of the Ammonihahites was destroyed, and also their great city, which they said God could not destroy, because of its greatness.
10 But behold, in one day it was left desolate
This is referring to Alma 9:4
4 And they said also: We will not believe thy words if thou shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in one day.
This is another example of consistency between prophecy and fulfillment in the Book of Mormon being more complex than it first appears, because of details in the wording linking them together, which are given several chapters apart.
30. Alma 10:3 and 1 Nephi 5:14-16, Jacob 2:25 — The lineage of Lehi
Amulek begins his sermon in Ammonihah with a recounting of his lineage. He says he is a descendent of Aminadi…
…who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph (Alma 10:3)
We haven’t gotten to that part of the story yet, given the order of dictation, but the details of Lehi’s lineage are confirmed in 1 Nephi 5:14-16 and again in Jacob 2:25.
31. Alma 10:19 and Mosiah 29:17 — “well did Mosiah say”
In Alma 10:19, Amulek refers to a statement from King Mosiah:
19 Yea, well did Mosiah say…if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction.
This statement is found in Mosiah 29:27
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
32. Alma 12:17 and Alma 14:14 — “a lake of fire and brimstone”
Although this example of internal consistency only spans two chapters, it is so subtle that it merits a mention.
In Alma 12:17, Alma explains to the wicked people of Ammonihah:
17 Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone
A terrible scene then unfolds, in which the men who believe the words of Alma and Amulek are thrown out of the city and their women and children are burned in a fire. In Alma 14:14, we are told
Now it came to pass that when the bodies of those who had been cast into the fire were consumed, and also the records which were cast in with them, the chief judge of the land came and stood before Alma and Amulek, as they were bound; and he smote them with his hand upon their cheeks, and said unto them: After what ye have seen, will ye preach again unto this people, that they shall be cast into a lake of fire and brimstone?
The chief judge sarcastically refers to their preaching in Alma 12:17, where a lake of fire and brimstone was mentioned.
33. Alma 16:12 – Alma 27:2 — Another example of tracking the timeline
Alma 16:12 states
And the Lamanites did not come again to war against the Nephites until the fourteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
At the end of the chapter, the 14th year ends and we have not yet heard of any war. The reader will not learn of this war until we get to the end of the parallel story of the mission of the sons of Mosiah among the Lamanites. As they are seeking a place of protection for the people of Ammon, who have just been attacked by the Lamanites, a war breaks out. This war is described in Alma 27. Again, the timeline proves to be complex, subtle, and consistent.
34. Alma 17:35 – Mosiah 28:6-7 — The Lord’s promise to Mosiah
In Alma 17, as Mormon tells us how Ammon bravely protects King Lamoni’s flocks and the other servants by fighting the robbers, we are reminded of a promise made to Ammon’s father:
35 Therefore they did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands
There is a reference here to a promise the Lord had given to Mosiah, in Mosiah 28:6-7, eighteen chapters earlier:
6 And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.
7 And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.
A second component of this promise to Mosiah is found in italics above. We read about the fulfillment of the components in several places, including Alma 26:4.
35. Alma 19:22 – Alma 17:25-28 — “had been slain with the sword of Ammon”
A miraculous conversion of the Lamanite king is taking place, and in the process, the queen and Ammon are both overcome with the Spirit and fall to the earth. Some men arrive and see the situation. The story continues:
22 Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead.
The bold text refers to Alma 17:35-38, in which we learn that Ammon slays six men with his sling, but only slew one man — the leader of the group — with his sword. Thus, the man who tries to slay him in Alma 19 must have been the brother of the group’s leader.
36. Alma 22:27 – Alma 43:22 — Geographical description of Manti
This chapter contains a lot of geographical descriptions. We cannot include all the details or fully lay out the internally consistent Book of Mormon geography, but we’ll include a few examples in this and the next item on our list. In Alma 22:27, we read about
…the borders of Manti, by the head of the river Sidon
This is consistent with Alma 43:22
…by the head of the river Sidon, that they might come into the land of Manti.
37. Alma 22:29-30 – Alma 50:32-34 — “the land which they called Desolation”
Another example of geographic consistency in Alma 22 is found in verses 29-30.
…on the north, even until they came to the land which they called Bountiful. And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed…
Desolation is introduced here for the first time and described as the land north of Bountiful. This is consistent with geographical descriptions in Alma 50:32-34.
32 Now behold, the people who were in the land Bountiful, or rather Moroni, feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton and unite with his people, and thus he would obtain possession of those parts of the land, which would lay a foundation for serious consequences among the people of Nephi, yea, which consequences would lead to the overthrow of their liberty.
33 Therefore Moroni sent an army, with their camp, to head the people of Morianton, to stop their flight into the land northward.
34 And it came to pass that they did not head them until they had come to the borders of the land Desolation; and there they did head them, by the narrow pass which led by the sea into the land northward, yea, by the sea, on the west and on the east.
38. Alma 25:10-12 and Mosiah 13 and 17 — Fulfillment of Abinadi’s prophecies about Noah’s priests
In Alma 24-25, Mormon tells us about a side-story involving the “remnant of the children of Amulon.” We learn in Mosiah 23 that Amulon was one of the wicked priests of King Noah. We hear his name a few more times in the next two chapters, but after that we don’t hear anything about him until Alma 24.
Interestingly, in Alma 25, Mormon recounts several specific prophecies of Abinadi which come to pass. Mormon references parts of Mosiah 13 and Mosiah 17 in the process:
a. Mosiah 13:10 and Alma 25:10
First, Mormon writes:
10 For he said unto them: What ye shall do unto me shall be a type of things to come. (Alma 25)
This matches what Abinadi said in Mosiah 13:10
10 But this much I tell you, what you do with me, after this, shall be as a type and a shadow of things which are to come.
b. Mosiah 17:15-17 and Alma 25:11-12
Mormon adds additional details in the verses that follow:
11 And now Abinadi was the first that suffered death by fire because of his belief in God; now this is what he meant, that many should suffer death by fire, according as he had suffered.
12 And he said unto the priests of Noah that their seed should cause many to be put to death, in the like manner as he was, and that they should be scattered abroad and slain, even as a sheep having no shepherd is driven and slain by wild beasts; and now behold, these words were verified, for they were driven by the Lamanites, and they were hunted, and they were smitten.
These details are found in Mosiah 17:15-17
15 Behold, even as ye have done unto me, so shall it come to pass that thy seed shall cause that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire; and this because they believe in the salvation of the Lord their God.
16 And it will come to pass that ye shall be afflicted with all manner of diseases because of your iniquities.
17 Yea, and ye shall be smitten on every hand, and shall be driven and scattered to and fro, even as a wild flock is driven by wild and ferocious beasts.
End of Part 5
That concludes the fifth part of this series. Below is an updated version of the arc diagram which includes each of the internally consistent details we’ve described so far.
Jeff Markham has been an avid student of the Book of Mormon his entire life. He recently joined the FairMormon group. He has practiced radiology in the Dallas, Texas area since 2011, having obtained his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University (B.S. in 2000), a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA (M.D. 2005), and post-graduate training in diagnostic radiology and neuroradiology at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX. He served as a full-time missionary in the Germany Hamburg Mission from 1996-1998. His favorite callings include teaching primary and early morning seminary. He lives in the Dallas area with his wife and children. He blogs at BookofMormonNotes.com.